National Chess League winners vow to send youngsters to Olympiad

Encouraged by their kids’ performance at the just concluded 2015 National Chess League, Eagles Chess Club (ECC) has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure that the youngsters represent the country in the 2016 Chess Olympiad.
Sandrine Uwase, 14, (standing) watched as her colleague, Joselyne Uwase, 13, tamed Christella Rugabira during the day’s first match. (James Karuhanga)
Sandrine Uwase, 14, (standing) watched as her colleague, Joselyne Uwase, 13, tamed Christella Rugabira during the day’s first match. (James Karuhanga)

Encouraged by their kids’ performance at the just concluded 2015 National Chess League, Eagles Chess Club (ECC) has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure that the youngsters represent the country in the 2016 Chess Olympiad.

The club was crowned league champions on Sunday after a phenomenal show of force in which its two teams overwhelmed opponents to grab first and second place.

 

Ever since they were promoted to the club’s first teams early this year, teenagers Sandrine Uwase, 14, and Joselyne Uwase, 13, did not waste the chances they got to play in a tough competition where they faced adult opponents. They won all their matches.

 

ECC vice president Eric Maina says the club’s youth squad, proved it merits respect and, if sufficiently supported, will catapult the country’s international ranking.

 

Maina said: “We were cautious about how many competitive matches the kids would play. Members were worried that we would drop points if the kids played against older, more experienced adult opponents but we gave them the chance anyway. And they did not disappoint.”

 When the struggling Eagles A side was looking to win its last two decisive matches, on Sunday, Uwase tactically outwitted Christella Rugabira and Marie Faustine Shimwa, one after the other. The latter represented Rwanda at the 41st World Chess Olympiad 2014 in Tromsø, Norway.

The next Chess Olympiad will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from September 1 to 14.

No lady is on the list of the 10 competing for the five slots in the open section of the national team for the 2016 Chess Olympiad as ladies have opted to compete for the women’s national side.

“We have a working plan to ensure that at least three of our youth players are on this women’s team,” said Maina.

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